Ed Hudgins

Ayn in India

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Ayn in India

by Edward Hudgins

June 8. 2012 - A recent article by Ammu Kannampilly entitled "India's unlikely romance with Ayn Rand," published by the Asian-based DAWN media group, calls attention to a trend that really isn’t so surprising. With free-market reforms in recent decades, India has become a fast-growing economy with new entrepreneurs and a middle class of millions.

One would thus expect an interest in Atlas Shrugged and Rand’s advocacy of capitalism. But interest goes deeper than this.

One Fountainhead fan, interviewed for Kannampilly’s piece about Rand, explained that "Indian society, despite economic growth, despite globalisation, remains very conservative. So I think her work still resonates here, it provides a space for people to question the traditional order and be an individual."

Indeed, the world’s second most populous country is 80 percent Hindu. A central aspect of that religion is the millennia-old caste system, which holds that each individual is born into the station in life that they deserve. And in India, marriages for the most part are still arranged by families. Thus we continue to see cases like the one in July 2001 when a young couple, he 19, she 18, were publicly hanged as hundreds of villagers watched not in horror but with cheers of approval. The couple's crime: they were in love but were from different castes.

The secular founders of modern India such as Jawaharlal Nehru tried to bar discrimination based on caste, but such prejudices are deeply ingrained and persist.

In my November 24, 2009, essay entitled "Is India Important to America’s Freedom?"I outlined the importance of India both to the future of freedom in the world and as fertile territory for Objectivism, Rand’s philosophy of rational individualism. The romance between Rand and the growing ranks of individuals in India who love their own lives, who want to fulfill their human potential, and who want to prosper and flourish, is not unlikely at all. Let’s hope the romance is consummated Kama-Sutra style and leads to a truly happy marriage!

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Hudgins is director of advocacy for The Atlas Society.

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NDIA: Mixed-caste couple hanged by own families

August 9, 2001

ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION - URGENT APPEALS PROGRAM

9 August 2001

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UA-28-2001 - Mixed-caste couple hanged by own families

INDIA: Caste based discrimination - a distinct form of racial discrimination on the basis of work and descent; right to life & marriage

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In a stark reminder that caste discrimination is still rife in India, a pair of mixed-caste lovers were hanged in public last Monday by their own family members in Alipur village, Muzaffarnagar district, in the state of Uttar Pradesh.

According to the Muzzaffarnagar district police chief, a 20-year-old man Vishal (a high caste Brahmin) and an 18-year-old woman Sonu (from the lower caste Jat community) were hanged to death because they belonged to different castes and were in love with each other. The families of both the boy and girl brought them to the roof of a village house and hanged them one after the other in front of hundreds of villagers supporting the murder.

Seven people have been arrested by the police, but this is not the first time there have been such murders in the district of Muzzaffarnagar. In 1993, a pair of mixed-caste lovers were set upon by their local community and killed, while another couple were hacked to death in a rickshaw in March this year.

There are similar caste discrimination problems all through South Asia, and also in Japan, Mauritania, Nigeria, Senegal and amongst the Indian diaspora. The total number of victims of caste discrimination is over 250 million worldwide, meaning one in every 25 people are affected. The vast majority of these - around 190 millions Dalits - are in India

http://www.humanrights.asia/news/urgent-appeals/UA-28-2001

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India: Don't Look Now, but...

Posted: 10 Jun 2012 07:59 AM PDT

(Steven Hayward)

So while we wait for the fallout from the massive bailout of Spanish banks that has unfolded over the last 72 hours, and ponder the prospect of a breakdown in China’s economy discussed here yesterday, let’s not overlook the other tiger of Asian economic growth—India.

The Economist warns this week (“Farewell to Incredible India”) that its economy may be on the wane, too:

IN A world economy as troubled as today’s, news that India’s growth rate has fallen to 5.3% may not seem important. But the rate is the lowest in seven years, and the sputtering of India’s economic miracle carries social costs that could surpass the pain in the euro zone. The near double-digit pace of growth that India enjoyed in 2004-08, if sustained, promised to lift hundreds of millions of Indians out of poverty—and quickly. Jobs would be created for all the young people who will reach working age in the coming decades, one of the biggest, and potentially scariest, demographic bulges the world has seen. . . The omens, frankly, are not good.

Oh goody.

India-GDP-copy.jpg

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Indias dreadful poverty and its increase by new affluence on Indias top societal end, is a bad story indeed.

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Indias dreadful poverty and its increase by new affluence on Indias top societal end, is a bad story indeed.

Yep...

India.

China.

Europe.

Contracting...

The US about to, at a minimum, stumble.

South America, Africa and the Middle East in complete chaos.

I am so glad Rand was wrong about her predictions of how philosophy would effect the world, aren't you...

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Any bright economic spots in the world?

Chile?

New Zealand?

Hong Kong?

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Any bright economic spots in the world?

Chile?

New Zealand?

Hong Kong?

Those are three (3) solid ones.

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Any bright economic spots in the world?

Chile?

New Zealand?

Hong Kong?

Those are three (3) solid ones.

Hello Adam,

Didn't Greenspan consult with Chile regarding economics several yrs. back? He might have convinced them to implement some free market concepts.

Might be a good idea to purchase some of their currencies as a hedge against our own, considering the extent of our monumental debt.

-Joe

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Friedman did, in the days of the military dictatorship; I don't know about Greenspan. Friedman also consulted for China. He wrote about the hypocrisy of people who condemned him for one and not the other.

I'm optimistic that the post-Obama US, like the post-Carter US, is going to be another example. We'll see.

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Greenspan became head of the Fed in 1987 and stayed there until 2006, 18 1/2 years. Any consulting he did in that time was part of his job. After, irrelevant for Chile was a democracy. Prior to 1987 he was in private business pulling in clients with his political connections. If any was Chile I never heard about it and I was up to most of what was in the public weal then respecting him. (The only time I remember seeing him in person was in 1982 when he payed his respects to Ayn Rand at the funeral home standing in line like everyone else.)

--Brant

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Any bright economic spots in the world?

Chile?

New Zealand?

Hong Kong?

Those are three (3) solid ones.

New Zealand!!! Dont you ever read Solo? It is about to collapse under despotic socialism!

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Any bright economic spots in the world?

Chile?

New Zealand?

Hong Kong?

Those are three (3) solid ones.

New Zealand!!! Dont you ever read Solo? It is about to collapse under despotic socialism!

And the source of that statement is even dumber than the current low life occupying the United States White House...

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Prior to 1987 he was in private business pulling in clients with his political connections.

Really? I thought he just made commercials back then.

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